2021 digital marketing predictions
From self-promotion to client-centric pragmatism
At the start of the year, there’s normally a blizzard of agency predictions on what the next 12 months will bring by way of digital marketing innovations and why you should come to agency X or Y to have these bestowed upon your marketing team.
Everyone knows this is no more than hype, but it does give an insight into early stage marcomms development, even if a lot of it is superseded long before it actually gets to market.
End of the road?
This year, it’s different. If you check out the digital marketing media, you’ll find almost deafening silence compared with previous years. If you look at the Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing 2020 you’ll see that just about everything conceivable is still back at, or before, the Trough of Disillusionment.
Forward from there, on the Slope of Enlightenment and the Plateau of Productivity – when technologies and methodologies are fully adopted by marketers and where things really start to happen – it is pretty unpopulated, and some of these are still many years from roll-out.
Rethinking the future
What this means is there’s a lot of new, innovative and very useful technologies already available, but I don’t think many enterprises are making the best of some of these powerful technologies.
Even among the few global corporates where some current technologies are in play – such as multichannel marketing hubs, marketing AI and customer relationship management – they aren’t joined up, so the ROMI performance is disappointing.
Joined up thinking
This means as digital marketers, we seem to have been tripping over ourselves to deliver the next big (and apparently non-existent) thing to our clients rather than properly applying existing technologies and methodologies in a cohesive, pragmatic and productive way.
Now, when pragmatism is desperately needed to pull the global economies back from the worst recessions on record, we should revisit the technologies we’ve already implemented in the here and now, client-side and get them properly optimised to deliver on ROMI as they should have.
Fully predictable ROMI
We all like to have fun and as an industry we have plenty of it dreaming of, and playing with, some fantastic technologies. But if we have yet to implement what we currently offer clients in a fully optimised way, then we need to revisit this.
At Novacom we love new technologies and have VR and AR projects that utilise technology that isn’t widely available yet live across the EMEA, North America and Asia Pacific regions. And compared with these new technologies, our very long-term relationships with digital marketing tools, marketing automation and CRM platforms sometimes seem mainstream.
As one of the earliest adopters of these technologies and techniques, it’s probable we’d feel that way, but we also certainly know how to deliver fully predictable MORI with these systems, and we know how to bolt them onto new technologies for even better performance.
So what about 2021?
In summary, my prediction for 2021: firstly, I hope as an industry we’ll finally finish what we started and reskill to optimise all the fantastic technologies we already delivered to clients.
Secondly, I don’t think we’ll be returning to the ‘old normal’ when we move beyond the Covid-19 pandemic and I think virtual events are here to stay. I don’t mean the current crop of unappealing 2D WebEx and Zoom lookalikes, but truly 3D avatar-driven platforms like Novacom VCX Quantum.
Novacom Quantum allows visitors to sign-in to virtual events as customised avatars and allows us to track their activity around the event to fully understand their needs and ensure that all this visitor data is loaded to the client CRM system.
Your visitor prospect gets what she or he wants, and you get a sale and detailed visitor data that delivers fast-track and a fully predictable return on marketing investment (ROMI).
Yes, it’s another new technology – but I think this is one to watch.